Ministry matters

States do not give details to Ministry of Environment on elephant reserves

Information requested on 12 January 2021 included the background and context of the establishment of elephant reserves and the notified area

Information requested on 12 January 2021 included the background and context of the establishment of elephant reserves and the notified area

Elephant range states across India have ignored an 18-month-old instruction from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to provide information on their elephant reserves.

The MoEFCC had, on 12 January 2021, written to the Chief Wildlife Wardens of the Elephant Reserve States, to provide details of the compilation of information on Elephant Reserves (ERs) by its project division elephant.

The information sought included the history and context of the establishment of ROEs; the date of notification of their notification; the notified area; and the number of circles, forest divisions, ranges, private or revenue lands on reserves.

In addition to the map of each RE, States were also requested to provide by January 30, 2022, the total elephant population, threats, challenges and issues in those REs, five-year data on human-elephant conflicts and the management interventions carried out. by the forest services, to conserve elephants.

In response to a request made by an Assam-based activist under the Right to Information Act, the MoEFCC said on July 27 that it had not yet received any information on emergencies from states across the country. range of elephants.

Ramesh Pandey, the Inspector General of the Elephant Project at the MoEFCC declined to say what the ministry would do in the face of indifference from elephant range states.

Data from the Wildlife Institute

Data uploaded to the Wildlife Institute of India website indicates that the elephant population in 16 states of the country ranged between 27,785 and 31,368 in 2012. While Karnataka had up to 7,458 elephants, followed by Assam with 5,281, Maharashtra had only four.

India has 30 reported REs spread across 15 elephant range States. There are also 10 sites for the MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) program, mandated by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The MIKE sites are Chirang-Ripu and Dihing-Patkai in Assam, Deomali in Arunachal Pradesh, Garo Hills in Meghalaya, Eastern Dooars in West Bengal, Mayurbhanj in Odisha, Shivalik in Uttarakhand, Mysore in Karnataka, Wayanad in Kerala and Nilgiri in Tamil Nadu. .